Targeted support promised for Britain’s ‘most troubled families’

David Cameron pledged a network of troubleshooters, along with more targeted support for 120,000 of Britain’s most troubled families, by 2015. Cameron promised families one dedicated worker rather than a ‘string of well-meaning, disconnected officials’.

Under the government’s proposals, families need to meet five out of seven criteria – including truanting children, parents with addiction and antisocial behaviour – to be classified as ‘troubled’.

The government is diverting £448m from existing departmental budgets over four years to help pay for a network of people who will identify families in need of help, make sure they get access to the right services and ensure that action is taken.

But the money will cover only 40 per cent of costs, and councils who want to use the service will have to agree to fund the other 60 per cent themselves. Workers will be ‘paid by results’, Mr Cameron said; for example, are children in school and has antisocial behaviour stopped?

Labour say ministers have cut family intervention projects and the work councils had been doing on the issue.

Progress will be reported to Louise Casey, the newly appointed head of the Troubled Families Team.